Aspire graphic


IChange is the Association of Public Land-grant Universities' ASPIRE Institutional Change initiative to enhance recruitment, hiring and retention of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty from underrepresented groups, and to encourage inclusive teaching, advising, and research mentoring by all faculty.

Since January 2020, UNL has joined IChange as a member of Cohort 2. Our institution has engaged in structured self-study to assess practices relating to faculty recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion. Currently the UNL IChange Team is developing a phased Action Plan to implement best practices and to assess outcomes.

Commitment to Equity

"Aspire's Institutional Change initiative (IChange) seeks to cultivate post-secondary institutions where STEM faculty from underrepresented groups (URGs) are widely recruited, hired, and retained, and all STEM faculty employ inclusive teaching, advising, and research mentoring.

The IChange Network is designed to catalyze institutional change by providing a comprehensive, systematic approach to organizational transformation using a structured self-assessment process to inform the development and implementation of an action plan.

Participating institutions will begin their work with a self-assessment of their current practices and resources. Institutions then develop and implement an action plan for initial change and map ways to scale such efforts across all their STEM programs."


Marco Barker

Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion

Christopher Marks

Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs

Nicole Buan

UNL IChange Coordinator, Associate Professor of Biochemistry

Leadership Team members

Katherine Ankerson

Executive Vice Chancellor

Richard Bischoff

Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty and Academic Leader Success, Professor of Child, Youth, and Family Studies

Michael Boehm

Harlan Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Professor of Plant Pathology

Mark Button

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Political Science

Jason Casey

Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics

Gwendolyn Combs

Director for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion, Associate Professor of Management

Debra Hope

Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Graduate Education, Douglas Professor of Psychology

Sherri Jones

Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, Hodder Professor of Special Education and Communication Disorders

Kelli Kopocis

Assistant Professor of Practice, Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, and Faculty Senate President

Julia McQuillan

Cather Professor of Sociology

Lance Pérez

Dean of Engineering, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

The IChange Model

IChange chart

Activity and Progress

IChange progress chart

Campus Presentation Contact Us

UNL IChange Workgroups

Recruiting Diverse Faculty

  • Rich Bischoff (co-Chair)
  • Gwen Combs (co-Chair)
  • Brittany Duncan
  • Mary Ann Johnson
  • Rebecca Roston
  • Dai Shizuka

Executive Summary

Faculty Evaluation


  • Lance Perez (co-Chair)
  • Sherri Jones (co-Chair)
  • Susan Swearer
  • Jody Kellas
  • Robert Hutkins
  • Wes Peterson
  • Kwakiutl Dreher
  • Lily Wang
  • Theresa Catalano
  • Andrea Cupp
  • Deryl Hatch-Tocaimaza

Executive Summary

Retaining Diverse Faculty


  • Nicole Buan (co-Chair)
  • Mark Button (co-Chair)
  • Marianna Burks
  • Joy Castro
  • Colleen Jones
  • Rebecca Lai
  • Pat Tetreault

Executive Summary

Data, Tracking, and Climate Surveys


  • Julia McQuillan (co-Chair)
  • Jason Casey (co-Chair)
  • Soo-Young Hong
  • Jen Muller
  • Janet Near
  • Mark Riley
  • John Ruberson
  • Mark Wilkins

Executive Summary